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See update below: This would be a big blow for HD DVD, if true: THR reports, citing unidentified industry sources, that Toshiba may soon pull the plug on HD DVD, in response to the wave of companies that have gone Blu-Ray only. Of course, Toshiba is the primary CE backer of the format, so if it were to give up on it, that might really be the end of the story. Bear in mind that there have been some incorrect rumors in this whole story, and at this point, Toshiba isn’t confirming or denying, although a spokesperson told THR: “Given the market developments in the past month, Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players.” The price cuts, of course, were announced post-CES, which historians may remember as a Blu-Ray victory party. Since then, early market data hasn’t suggested the price cuts are working. After all, getting consumers to buy any product, even at firesale prices, is tough if there aren’t many compatible options for it.
Update: This is almost as devastating as Toshiba itself wavering: Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) has announced that it too will go Blu-ray only, phasing out HD-DVD over the next few months. A statement from the company says it’s merely listening to its customers, who have chosen Blu-ray (though surely the fact that so many major players are going Blu-ray influenced the decision as well). A company blog says that by June there will only be Bluy-ray products, while the official announcement states that customers will notice a difference in 30 days. Statement.